by Kimberley Cummins
Three young men have an objective to infuse the entertainment scene with a more meaningful concept.
Banka Boiz and Cav!ar Entertainment over the years have been known for their hyped fetes, parties and cruises, but as responsibility hit the group they realised that there was more to life than just partying.
Omar Drakes and Jamel Richards are now fathers while Damian Griffith is a godfather.
Drakes told Barbados TODAY that as they became fathers it hit them that doing the whole party thing was good now they were young, however, there was more to their organisations than just partying. As a result, the three sat together, thought it over and came up with the concept of giving back and it birthed Family Affair: Fun, Fair and Expo.
Family Affair will be held on Saturday October 20 at Kensington Oval and it was expected to be a fun-filled day suitable for the entire family. The HIV Commission will be on hand to give information on AIDS, there will be diabetic education and testing, a financial centre, McEnearney Quality Inc., Electronics on Edge, jumping tents, a rock wall, mechanical bull, Segway rides, scaletric racing, a games room, martial arts demonstrations and much more.
The main aspect of the fair is to push their 360? vision- Give Back. which entails donating all of the funds raised from the estimated 13 jumping tents and rides to selected primary schools.
“Growing up, there was just me and my mum and there were a lot of things that I would have wanted or would like to have but I couldn’t have. When we were going to schools, looking around at the children I would remember when I was younger and that stuff and it really hit me that the fact that we decided to do it, but then to see it and see the children it was touching to me because that is how I came up. I always told myself when I get to be a man I want to be able to give back to people; I want people to have things that they don’t normally have.
“When you get to a stage where you could look back and see where you would have come from and when other people are going through things, yes it is a different thing and a different era but you still want to help because you know where you came from; you know what it is to actually feel that and go through that. Anywhere that you could possibly help it is always important,” Drakes said.
Richards said they approached 12 or 13 primary schools with the idea, all they wanted from them was to have three or four people volunteer on the day of the fair to help man the rides and other activities however the response from some schools was not forthcoming.
“Out of the schools, we have about four or five who have gotten on board. The problem we found was that persons said they will speak to the teachers and the PTA and get back to you but they don’t get back to us. We call them again, we understand that because it is a school they are pretty busy but it seems like we are chasing persons to give them assistance so we will settle with the schools we have, and in any case it will be more beneficial to them. While we may not get to touch as many as we would have liked to initially it will be more beneficial to them financially because of course the pie is being cut into bigger pieces and there is always next year,” Richards said.
“We also approached the Child Care Board about this event and we invited children from the homes. We invited all 96 children believed to be in the homes and delivered tickets for them, the staff and chaperones there.
“We have decided to do the event every year but we can’t do everything in one year, so maybe next year we will donate funds to them also. Now we are in a position where we can help we said ‘let’s help,’ however, this is a work in progress. The whole idea was not only to do a fair for the kids but we came together to put on a family event which would capture the essence of family itself,” Griffith added.